Easter alert, collections in a crisis, jobs on offer, and staying safe
Welcome to SORTED! April 2019: Coronavirus (COVID-19) special
Like everything else, your waste services are being hard hit by Coronavirus. This edition of SORTED! will outline what is happening, the steps you can take and where to find out more- and the simple details about Easter day changes.
If this is useful, do forward it to others (we have nearly his 10,000 subscribers) and tell them to sign up on SWP's website here.
And how are you wasting less, reusing all you can and recycling more without overloading hard-pressed crews in this crisis? Finally, this is a monthly update but for a daily dose of reduce, reuse, recycle and all the lockdown waste news, follow @Somersetwaste on Facebook and Twitter.
Collections and the crisis- a quick summary
Crews are collecting hundreds of tonnes extra recycling a week despite dozens of staff self-isolating due to Coronavirus symptoms in their families.
Working closely with our new contractor SUEZ, Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) is maintaining the vast majority of the core recycling, clinical waste and rubbish collections.
Easter weekend usually sees a spike in waste, so we are urging residents to avoid traditional Bank Holiday spring cleaning, DIY and gardening- see below.
Garden waste have been suspended and staff redeployed to core tasks. Subscriptions will be extended by 12 months when collections restart.
Bulky waste collections have been suspended and staff redeployed to core tasks.
Waste container deliveries have been suspended and staff redeployed core tasks.
Recycling collections are continuing as usual but if you are missed, we regret that the staff shortage means recycling will not be collected until the following week.
Recycling sites are temporarily closed while government travel restriction continue.
Rubbish and clinical waste collections continue as usual. If either of these are missed, use the My Waste Services menu to report this or contact your district council customer services.
When will your recycling and rubbish be picked up at Easter?
No collections on Good Friday 10 April mean all Friday pick-ups will be on Saturday 11 April.
And with no collections on Easter Monday 13 April, all pick-ups in that week are one day later, including Friday collections on Saturday 18 April.
Take it easy to help waste staff help you
Traditional Easter activities- spring cleaning, DIY and gardening- could put a heavy load on waste services struggling to deal with the impact of coronavirus.
Householders are being urged to hold-off on Easter clear-outs and just enjoy family time unless they can store their waste until recycling sites reopen.
Hundreds of tonnes of extra waste a week are being produced at a time when scores of staff have been forced into self-isolation from symptoms in families.
With recycling sites closed ' due to national "no-travel" restrictions ' the four-day weekend could see even more material put out for hard-pressed collection crews.
Recycling rounds are under increasing strain, but the public has shown great support for collection crews as front line key workers at this time of national crisis.
But Easter's usual spike in waste while no recycling sites are open will leave dedicated crews struggling to cope and more disruption to collections.
Here's some easy ways to help your crew:
' Sort recycling properly so crews can collect it faster and move on
' Put boxes and food waste bin out by 7am
' Leave waste out late so crews can complete delayed rounds
' Park carefully so waste trucks can reach your home
' Cut kitchen waste and compost suitable foods; reconsider online shopping
' Reuse materials in the garden or for children's fun projects
Essential advice to stay safe and keep services going
If you or someone in your household has Coronavirus symptoms, double bag all tissues, gloves and disposable cleaning cloths, keep that separate for at least 72 hours in your home, then put in your rubbish. More details here.
Symptoms or not, do wash your hands before and after putting out recycling and rubbish, and do not put tissues, cleaning cloths or plastic/latex gloves in your recycling.
If your recycling collection is missed, take it in ' we will prioritise you and be back next week. If for any reason, we miss that second week, report it and we will do our best to get back ASAP.
Put your boxes and food waste bin out by 7am and leave them out late, so crews can complete delayed rounds.
Park carefully so waste trucks ' and fire engines and ambulances ' can reach your home.
Store items you would otherwise drop off at recycling sites, and do not add them to your rubbish. In particular, do not take risks with electrical items, batteries and gas canisters as these can cause a fire risk in your bin or the rubbish trucks.
Leave garden waste in the garden, home compost if it is practical and cut back on lawn moving and trimming until garden waste collections restart.
Do not burn waste as this affects people's health, causes pollution, annoys neighbours, and risks wasting fire crews' time.
Do not fly tip; it is a crime and will be prosecuted (though lockdown has brought a welcome fall in cash-in-hand criminal dumping). This includes leaving waste outside closed recycling sites.
Sort recycling properly by putting the right things in the right boxes to help crews collect faster and collect more. If safe, crush, squash and flatten all waste ' except glass and aerosols ' to get more in recycling boxes or when storing.
Reduce your waste: reconsider cardboard-heavy online shopping, think of creative ways to use up leftovers, compost suitable foods if you can, reuse
recycling materials for child activities or reuse plastic containers to store food.
Lost boxes or need more space? Our latest tips
Missing a recycling box? Or have you got a lot more material to recycle, especially if you were missed?
We hope to start accepting container orders again soon but meanwhile our latest advice may help.
1 No box or need more space? Please use alternative boxes of a similar size or smaller than recycling boxes. Do not use large containers that will be difficult to lift.
2 No suitable boxes? Carrier bags/reusable bags/bags for life are OK for all but glass (but, sorry, cannot guarantee they will be left behind; no liability accepted).
3 Each different material MUST be put in a separate box or bag, except...
4... glass bottles and jars MUST be in a recycling box or similar and not in a bag
5... and food and drink cans, aerosols, foil and plastic bottles can go in together.
6 As always, if safe, squash-flatten-crush all materials except glass and aerosols
7 Do not do not use cardboard boxes for recyclable materials. If the box gets wet, a lot more materials will get dropped, broken or end up as litter.
Too much to recycle? As a very last resort, put the minimum possible materials that cannot be stored into your rubbish (with food double bagged).
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Thank you for thanking your crew
We are seeing lots of lovely messages being left for crews as they do a great job in tough times. If you have put out a message or spotted any, reply to email them to us, or share on Facebook or Twitter.